Members stream out of Lloyd's

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The Independent Online
THE NUMBER of members supporting the Lloyd's of London insurance market has fallen to its lowest level since 1981, writes John Moore.

David Rowland, Lloyd's newly elected chairman, confirmed yesterday that 2,000 members left the market last year, leaving it with 19,700 members. At its peak in 1989, Lloyd's membership stood at 34,218.

Mr Rowland estimated that the total amount of financial capacity in the market this year could be pounds 8.75bn, compared with pounds 11.4bn in 1991.

He reported 67 new members coming into the market, including 31 professional brokers, underwriters and agents who work at Lloyd's. This is the lowest number of individuals to come forward to join since 1945.

Lloyd's is poised to announce losses of up to pounds 2bn this year after reporting a similar figure last year.

Mr Rowland said that a voluntary redundancy scheme was under way in the Corporation of Lloyd's, the administrative hub of the market.

Already 14 of the 28 people who serve the main officials in the market have lost their jobs. The number of committees running the market has been cut from 48 to 17.